Top Music Attorney Joel Katz Resigns From Greenberg Traurig

Joel A. Katz
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Longtime outside counsel to the Recording Academy Joel Katz has resigned from Greenberg Traurig, the firm announced Monday.

Katz has long been one of the most influential attorneys in the music business. In addition to his work for the academy, which included the 2017 extension of Grammys broadcast deal that will keep the awards show on CBS through 2026, Katz has also acted as outside counsel for the Michael Jackson estate and was involved in the $750 million sale of Jackson’s 50 percent stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing to Sony Corp.

Ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan in January 2020 accused Katz of sexual harassment and the organization of widespread Grammy voting improprieties. Katz, through his attorney Howard Weitzman, emphatically denied the claims.

It's unclear whether Dugan's allegations played any role in Katz's departure from the firm. His representatives have not yet responded to a request for comment.

"Joel Katz has, by mutual understanding, resigned from the firm as of December 31, 2020," Greenberg Traurig executive chairman Richard A. Rosenbaum said in a statement. "Our global entertainment practice remains strong, diverse and among the largest, most dynamic and highest rated in the world, led by chair Bobby Rosenbloum in Atlanta, assisted by vice chairs Barbara Meili in New York and Dan Black in Los Angeles, as well as Jay Cooper, the founder of our Los Angeles Entertainment Practice, leading music industry lawyers Jess Rosen in Atlanta and Paul Schindler in New York, and many others. We thank Mr. Katz for his contributions over the years and have no further comment at this time."